10% of your time and resources doesn’t sound like much. But for Patrick McGinnis, that is all you need to learn how to become an entrepreneur and build your own business. Of course, entrepreneurship will never be an easy path and will still demand a lifestyle commitment. However, knowing what to invest in and which habits to establish exponentially improves your side venture and work performance.
In this episode, Patrick discusses the benefits of part-time entrepreneurship and why this may be a practical and realistic path for most individuals instead of going all in. He also shares actual experiences people had that proved the power of juggling a day job and a startup. Patrick also gives invaluable advice on the best practices for starting your entrepreneurial journey and how you can take advantage of the tools you already have but merely take for granted.
We often believe that entrepreneurship means entirely devoting ourselves to the craft, but uncovering this misconception and taking a different approach might lead us to more success.
Tune in to this episode to learn how to become an entrepreneur while maintaining your day job.
Click here to read transcript
[04:04] So Patrick, thank you so much for coming to make some time to be on the show. It is a pleasure to have you here. So, you started your career on Wall Street, and you took what wouldn’t consider to be the pretty traditional career path. And then you went and departed radically in a different career that involved part-time entrepreneurship. So why did you do that? Because I don’t think too many people—maybe do that.
- Yes, it was not the plan. The plan was to go to Wall Street and stay on Wall Street and be some finance master, the universe tech guy. But the world conspired, Wall Street didn’t want me apparently. It kicked me out because it just, I had like three different times that I worked in jobs on Wall Street where like my group was eliminated. And the last one, which was the final straw was I was working at a division of AIG and their private equity and venture capital division in 2008 when AIG blew up. And I remember just thinking to myself, I have done everything the right way. I got the Harvard MBA, I worked at J.P. Morgan, I’ve done all the stuff you’re supposed to do. And it all blew up, my stock fell 97%. And I just was done. I was like this is it. If I haven’t gotten the message by now, it’s time to get out of here. And so that was what brought this on this decision. But of course, figuring out how to actually build the path beyond that was the challenging part.
[05:29] So obviously, you’re not the first person that some experience similar that has happened to. And a lot of times, you know, afterwards, you’re left with this feeling of overwhelm and fear and uncertainty. And it’s not a happy place to be when that happens to you. And so in your case, you decided to—I think, take a slightly different approach with this 10% entrepreneur approach. Why don’t you tell us? What is that? And what does it mean? And how does it play out? And hopefully, some folks listening might be able to apply it in their own lives.
- Yes. So basically, I’m sitting there after the financial crisis. And I’m watching all my friends out in Silicon Valley. The financial crisis never went to Silicon Valley. The entrepreneurship just kept booming. And so I was sort of like, “Wow, I’ve chosen the wrong path here. Maybe I should be an entrepreneur.”
But, I was afraid of entrepreneurship. The idea of being a full time entrepreneur—number one didn’t have a good idea. Number two, I’m pretty risk averse, less so now than I used to be, but very risk averse at the time. And I just didn’t see myself as a full time entrepreneur. But I started to notice that some people I knew were becoming investors in companies like an angel investor, or that they were giving their time, you know, as a startup advisor in exchange for stock in a company. And so I thought, “That’s interesting. What if I were to integrate entrepreneurship into my life, partially.” You know, in a part time manner as a way to create some upside, because I had started doing like consulting work. And you know, that’s—freelancing is great in terms of paying the bills, but you don’t generate wealth because you own none of the things you create.
So that’s what I started to do. I started to invest 10% of my time, and money in all these side ventures, and that was eight years ago. I now have more than 20 different things that I’ve done—a very, very wide range of things that has become quite valuable. And in fact, I have two companies that I am a shareholder in that have become unicorns. And I’ve had a lot of fun with it. And it’s just transformed the way I build my career.
And so I decided to write a book about this, five years ago. And when it came out, a lot of people said to me, “Patrick, you know, yes, the financial crisis was terrible, but that we’ll never have another one of those. You don’t need to worry. You’re so fixated on. 2008 and your sort of response to it to do this, it’s time to move on.” And frankly, unfortunately, this year, has just shown that the idea makes sense even more in this pandemic because careers are so unstable. And frankly, I have to tell you, like one thing that I’ve learned this year. This year have been a lot of learning from all of us, is—my approach works. My 10% is thriving. Even though traditional careers are getting blown up all over the place. So this strategy actually works in good times and in bad.
[08:18] I like it for a lot of reasons. The thing that—one of the things I don’t like about corporate America—there’s a lot of things I don’t like about corporate America. But one of the things I don’t like is it teaches you to be dependent on a single source of income. And then they own you, because they know that once they cut that paycheck off, most people don’t have any savings, and they’re in deep doo doo. Your 10% approach, to me seems like the risk averse person’s way of creating secondary streams of income for themselves, would that be a reasonably accurate assessment from someone who hasn’t read your book yet?
- That’s right. And with one important distinction, which is that, there’s a lot of these sort of strategies around passive income. And that’s great! And, love that. But this is really about more than that. It’s about becoming a shareholder in as many things as you can. Either you’re running those things as a side business, or you’re investing or being an advisor getting shares in other people’s companies.
And the idea is that all of the—it’s all about the ownership. And so you know, people talk about side hustles. And, you know, doing freelancing, that is not what we’re talking about here. This is about ownership and things that can grow. And if theoretically, you could eventually sell, and that’s the play. That’s really what it’s about. But you’re absolutely right. I mean, I’m super risk averse. And I do a ton of this.
[09:45] So let’s give an example so that people can really sink their teeth into this. And I have one that comes to mind. And you can tell me—we’ll play like on two entrepreneurs sitting at a table and poking holes in the idea. So everyone who listens to my show knows that I love standard operating procedures. And I like, I love hiring Non-US labor because it comes at a fraction of the cost of US labor. I also know—I was actually speaking to Cameron Herold, earlier this morning, because he’s coming on the show in a while. And you know, one of the things that Cameron said he said, “Most companies, they don’t know about the whole utility of overseas labor. They’re just not—it’s not even on their radar screen. They think about hiring somebody. And they think about hiring an American because they’re in America.”
So as a way to create one of these 10% opportunities. What if somebody said, “Hey, you know, I’m really good at documenting processes. It’s something that can be done on a part-time basis in my evenings.” And then I go to a company and I say, “Okay, here’s my thing. I’m going to help you to document all of your scaling processes. And then I’m going to help you to make sure that you hire Non-US labor to use those processes to execute growth at a fraction of the cost of what it would cost you in a traditional way. And in return for that I want 10% of your company or something like that.” Is that—do you think that that would be? Is that a great example? And if not, what’s wrong with it? And what’s good about it? Let’s, let’s hear your thoughts.
- Yeah, it’s a great example. And that’s kind of the advisor role, which is you’re getting sweat equity, right? And so, by the way, I share your view, talent is borderless. And in fact, my team that helps me with all my things is in Latin America because I also need bilingual skills. And so it’s very natural not just because the talent’s great, but because there’s things that you can get overseas that you may not have easy access to in the States, right? And so that’s a great example.
One of the favorite examples that I give is, you know, investing in companies is great. And certainly, if you have the capital, do that. It’s a wonderful way to do 10 percents. But when I was getting started, I was very afraid of that still. And so I actually became an advisor to a company where the CEO needed my advice on all kinds of different strategic issues. And with raising capital and stuff like that, I would give him an hour a month, and I would meet with the CFO an hour a month, and he gave me a half a percentage of the company that vested over two years, and then you know, our relationship ended. Now we’re still friends, but I don’t work with them. And that business has gone on to—they just raised millions of dollars of equity. So like, I can see the trajectory of my equity, gaining value over time. And so that’s really critical. What you’ve talked about is exactly right, with the idea, of course, that someday you want to be able to exit that position and not just have 10% of a company and not monetize it.
[12:35] Yes. So you’d have to be careful, you’d have to be diligent in your selection process, to know that the current ownership wants to exit the company within an appropriate period of time that would be agreeable to you for the time that you’re going to invest in doing whatever you’re going to do for them.
- Yes, either that or they’re gonna pay you dividends. I have another company, I’m a shareholder in that, they do give dividends every—they’re not looking to sell. But there is— the idea is you want it. You can’t eat stock certificates, right? You have to eat whatever they generate.
[13:08] Yes, that’s a good point. All right. So what other ways, aside from the example that I’ve given earlier, a few more examples that you can share with us? For people who are listening or thinking, “Yes, I kind of like this idea. But give me some more ideas.”
- Yes, so listen, one of the really cool things about 10% entrepreneurship is it can be the gateway drug, as it were to full time entrepreneurship. And so for folks who say, “Listen, I have an idea that I want to explore.” I’ll give you an example.
One of my favorite examples from the book and from life is a friend of mine called Luke Holden. And now Luke Holden, like me, is from the State of Maine. And he was working in finance in a bank. And you know, he was like, “This is not what I want to do for a living, but you know, I need the money. I’m paying off my student loans.” On the side, he had grown up fishing for lobster off the coast of Maine. And so he understood the supply chain of the seafood industry. And he also noticed that in New York City, all the lobster rolls are like 45 bucks, right? Which is ridiculous, because lobster roll is meant to be eaten, you know. It’s not supposed to be some luxury good.
And so he said, “Why don’t I create a fast casual concept around lobster rolls.” He developed this idea in his free time on the weekends in the evenings. And then he found a business partner to work with him. And so he kept his job. And he worked off this idea and actually launched the business while still working in banking because he couldn’t afford to quit. And it’s a great way to try out a business. And then if the business works, you can go full time.
And in fact, statistics show there’s a great study that was cited in Adam Grant’s book Originals that people who try business out part time and then go full time or 33% less likely to fail than people will just jump in straight away because they give themselves the runway to try an experiment. See if an idea even works even if they like being an entrepreneur before they jump in full time. And then maybe realize, “my idea doesn’t work. I don’t like doing this,” or whatever that is for you.
[15:05] Yes, that’s a very good point. So this approach versus the full time entrepreneur approach that I’m going to jump off, build my parachute on the way down, what are the some of the pros and cons of 10% versus full time?
- So listen, if you want to be a full time entrepreneur, I’m not going to stand in your way. I think it’s great. And frankly, that for many people is a great way to go. Although you can also be a 10 percenter, when you’re a full time entrepreneur, I call that 110% entrepreneur, because we’re using the same approach to diversify yourself right?
Now, the thing that 10% gives you, which you don’t get in traditional entrepreneurship—full time entrepreneurship—is the fact that you are diversified. You are really diversified. And that’s the thing. I’ve had so many of my friends are entrepreneurs. And, listen, it’s awesome. But like, number one, they are, they’re putting this huge bat in this one thing. And think about venture capitalists, they don’t do that. Venture capitalists have portfolios, and that’s why they sleep at night. And they don’t get to, sort of like, lose their hair at 30. Right. So that’s a big one. And the other thing is, you know, the life of an entrepreneur is not for everybody, it’s stressful. You have higher rates of divorce and depression among entrepreneurs in the general population. So it just may be that you’re just not—I don’t want to be a full time entrepreneur, like, I just can’t, I can’t see myself doing that. But I still want to be entrepreneurial. And so I’ve been able to create this diversified lifestyle that is much more sustainable for me.
And the final thing is, one thing we don’t talk about enough is the fact that a lot of entrepreneurs are able to become entrepreneurs, because they have money. They have family money, or they made money. And for all the good people out there who just can’t afford it, this is a great way to build your own on ramp without having to have capital to get going.
[16:58] Yes, and that is a very real challenge. If you don’t have the capital, then you’ve got to keep working. And then if you’re working, you’ve got family responsibilities, and so forth. And it’s tough, tough, tough, tough to juggle at all. I honestly don’t know if I would have been able to make the transition. If I hadn’t—in my case, I mean, I jumped off and built the parachute on the way down. And it was scary. And it’s not for everyone.
I remember being hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, sitting at breakfast with my one angel investor in my first company on Saturday morning, and I didn’t have any money to make payroll on Monday. And I already owed him like I already owed him and others like a couple 100 grand. And I survived, thankfully. And then ultimately got an exit but that was not a very fun time.
[17:51] All right.
- And that’s the thing. I was just going to say that’s the thing is that entrepreneurship is glamorized by the media, like that story has a happy ending. But there are so many stories like yours, where the ending isn’t happy. And people talk about that, right? But that is reality. So listen, if you can handle that, go for it. But me and many people like me, were not ready.
[18:11] Yes. And to be clear, I mean, I don’t want to take all the credit of that individual. His name is John, and l I still talk to him to this day, 20 years later. If he didn’t lend me more money, then my whole life probably would have been different. I probably would have still been an employee because I would have gone bankrupt, because I couldn’t have made payroll. Maybe I would have figured out some other way to do it. I don’t know, I only had like two days to do it. And it would have been a very unhappy ending. And that would have been—that would have been a rough go. So thank you, John. If you’re listening, I’m sure he isn’t because he doesn’t. I don’t think he listens to my podcast. What if he does? Thank you, John. Yes. Indeed.
So what are some of the—we hear ideas and we think, “Oh, that’s really great. I want to get started.” But there’s and then there’s obstacles that we don’t see. So maybe you can shed some light on that? What are some of the obstacles to getting started with this approach? And then how do you overcome the,?
- So that I think the big obstacles which are completely achievable and to overcome. Well, there’s—I’m going to give you four today. The first is thinking you don’t have time. The second is thinking you don’t have enough money. And the third is not thinking carefully about what you’re good at, and what you’d like to do because the combination of the two is where you will find your area of success.
So the obstacle is just basically sitting down and doing the work. You need to figure out how much time, how much money you can allocate. And then where your skills and your interests lie? And a lot of people struggle with that. And I get that. I talked to audiences all the time, very intelligent people who say to me, “Hey, you know I’m not really sure, like what I’m good at.” And I think the thing is we forget. Because say you work in a bank, right? And you’re on your Excel jockey, you’re on Excel all day long. Like, you may forget that, like, if you were to walk across the street, nobody knows how to use Excel. It’s a very valuable skill set—or make a PowerPoint. But we forget there are certain things that we do. They’re super valuable to entrepreneurial ventures. So those are that’s that.
The other thing that’s a barrier is figuring out how to deal with your day job in terms of—if your employer doesn’t have policies, for example, like what’s allowed, what’s not allowed, how should you behave. And I have a very strong view on this. I think 10% entrepreneurs are a boon to the workforce. But your employer, you need to figure out how you can operate without violating any rules so that takes some work as well.
[20:44] Although in this particular era, when we’re in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and so many people are working from home. I mean, talk about an opportunity to be able to juggle two things, because at the end of the day, as long as you’re getting your work done for your employer, like all of my employees are remote. Do I check to make sure they’re all working eight hours every day? No, I just expect that they get the work done. And as they get the work done, if they only work seven hours that day, I don’t really care about it that much.
So I say that only because I think this is an excellent opportunity for somebody who’s working from home, for their employer, to maybe be able to create a little extra time and get up earlier in the morning or whatever, or be more productive, to be able to invest some of that time in your side project.
- Totally agree. And I would argue also, first of all, I love that you’re confident about. Because if a confident business people don’t worry about this stuff, they just want their employees to do their work. But the other thing is, it’s a real retention tool. If your employees have the flexibility to do what they really want to do when they’re part time, and they value their day jobs so much more, because the day job is the route to flexibility that allows them to explore their passion. So I think that’s a really smart way to think about it.
[22:02] So now that you have hindsight to your benefit, what are some of the things—if you were giving advice to your younger self, you’re more or less-experienced self—what are some of the pearls of wisdom that you would pass along with respect to taking this approach?
- Yes, I think the thing that I would tell myself, the most important thing is in the beginning—well, there’s two things. Number one is, I thought in the beginning, somehow this would be, like, quick. Like, oh, “I’ll make some angel investments. And then like, next year, I’ll be cashing out.” No. Actually, it takes a long time. So I have—as I told you, I have two companies in my portfolio that have become really valuable, they’re worth more than a billion dollars. And I invested in these companies when they were little startups, right? So a lot of money there for me, but worrying you’re eight on both of them. So you got to be patient. This is not something you do for a year or two. This is a lifestyle that you embrace and take everywhere with you think that’s number one.
Number two is, I didn’t realize how—finding the first one is pretty hard. Because I think you’re it’s kind of like you’re so picky that you just want to find the perfect thing. And that’s my whole second book is about, of course. But once you find that first one, it becomes a great conduit to many more like it’s much easier to find the other one. So be—you want to be rigorous, but especially when you’re an advisor, and you’re not putting capital at stake, like take some risk. There’s really—you have no downside to taking risk.
[23:40] So how about this for an approach to get started? Because I’ve coached so many new entrepreneurs, I know how stuck they get with, what do I do first? So you have an expertise in something, why not just start writing about it on your LinkedIn profile? And then making connection requests, and making connection requests, and making connection requests, and engaging in dialog with people who you think might be in whatever target market you think you could add value to. And then you’ve got this ever increasing body of content that demonstrates your expertise.
That’s an easy action to take. There’s no real financial risk to it. You just got to sit at your keyboard and write and then put some time into it. Would there be a better way, Patrick, that you could suggest for someone who’s listening to this thinking? “Okay, I’m ready to start with a little baby step. But what do I do?”
- I think that’s a great way to go. And in fact, you know, it’s sort of like what I always tell people pre-pandemic was, go to the conference. Go meet with people who you’re interested with. And so LinkedIn is such a powerful tool, as we all know. And it’s a great place to build a repository of knowledge. And it’s where people start to recognize you that you’re—I hate the word thought leadership, but that’s kind of what it is.
And what I would say is to get to that point, though Trent. The first step is to figure out like, “What do I want? What do I want to be my topic of expertise?” And so think—what I did to figure that out for myself was I wrote a very detailed bio, everything I’ve ever done. And then I looked for the patterns. And I said, “Where are the areas that I’m different, that are my unique selling propositions? And then what are the things I love,” because it’s that combination. What you’re good at will make you reputable, what you love will get you out of bed in the morning and get you on that LinkedIn page and get you writing about the topic, right. So it’s really that power alley where you want to operate.
[25:36] And I love earlier that you mentioned that spreadsheet expertise. And I’m calling that out again, for the simple reason that I want to remind people listening to this. There’s stuff that you’re really good at that you totally take for granted, because it is so easy for you to do. And that—whatever that is maybe wildly valuable to other people in the marketplace. And because you take it for granted, you might not even be thinking about it.
But I would encourage that you take an inventory of the skills and experience that you have. And then just start to ask people, “Hey, is this skill? Do you have that in your company? Is this good? Is this valuable?” And start to use those in conversations, to start to learn. So you convince yourself that, “Oh, wow, this thing I’m actually really good at that I totally take for granted is hugely valuable to other people.” And that’s how you can find your area of expertise that maybe you’re going to start writing about.
All right, so for people who want to get any of your books, I’m assuming if they just type your name in Amazon, they’re gonna find your books, right?
- They will. But well, here they are. They’re actually sitting right here. This is not planned out. But here they are. They’re also audiobooks, of course in Kindles and so you can find them or go to my website, patrickmcginnis.com. It has everything as well.
[27:00] All right. Patrick, it was an absolute pleasure to have you on the show. Thank you very much for making some time.
And folks, if this is your first time listening to one of the Bright Ideas podcast, and you enjoyed it, I would love it if you would take a moment on your favorite podcast listening app, and subscribe, like, and review the show. And if you would like to get to the show notes for today’s episode, because we will put some of the links in there, you can do that by going to brightideas.co/348. So that’s it for today. Thank you very much for tuning in. We’ll see you in another episode soon. Take care. Bye
Patrick McGinnis’s Bright Ideas
- Become a Shareholder
- Know Your Expertise
- Take the Risk
- Build Your Network
Become a Shareholder
In this episode, Patrick shares crucial insights on how to become an entrepreneur without quitting your job. One of them is taking real ownership of a business.
When it comes to working on a part-time job, we often think of freelancing or side hustles. However, Patrick shares the need to own something and watch it grow to harvest the benefits of entrepreneurship truly.
“Freelancing is great in terms of paying the bills, but you don’t generate wealth because you own none of the things you create,” Patrick says.
If building something from scratch seems daunting, it may be better to first offer labor in exchange for a growing stake in the company. Sweat equity is a concept you can capitalize on to become a shareholder without investing cash.
For example, taking on advisory roles and consulting work in exchange for a company percentage and waiting for the equity to gain value over time could be a viable strategy.
Nonetheless, he emphasizes the need to find an exit plan and monetize your company shares. Patrick quips, “You can’t eat stock certificates, right? You have to eat whatever they generate.”
Know Your Expertise
One of the initial obstacles when starting an entrepreneurial path is not knowing what you’re good at and what you want to do. Thus, the key is to find the intersection between your expertise and your passion.
Most of the time, we take certain skills we already possess for granted. We get used to doing a task so much that we forget how valuable it can be to the average person and how much other people are willing to pay to learn it.
“The thing is, we forget. Say you work in a bank, right? And you’re an Excel jockey. You’ on Excel all day long. You may forget that if you were to walk across the street, nobody knows how to use Excel. It’s a very valuable skill set, like making a PowerPoint [presentation],” Patrick says.
To help you know your skills, you can find inspiration at:
- Your college course
- Your day job
- Everyday chores
- Extracurriculars and hobbies
Aside from simply using what you’re good at, it also makes sense to pay attention to what you love to do. Patrick says, “What you’re good at will make you reputable, what you love will get you out of bed in the morning and get you on that LinkedIn page and get you writing about the topic.”
Take the Risk
Entrepreneurship is a risky endeavor. The startup industry is a cutthroat and competitive, sink-or-swim arena where margins are small, stress is high, and time is short. Nonetheless, taking the risk can be worthwhile and pay dividends in the long run.
Patrick reflects on his career setbacks during the 2008 crisis, which pushed him to the world of entrepreneurship. He recounts that upon release of his book, people thought he was too fixated, that he simply wasn’t moving on, and they didn’t expect that it could happen again soon.
Unfortunately, the pandemic eventually proved that anything could happen, even another financial crisis. Careers are unstable and can be blown up anytime. However, Patrick believes that his “10% strategy actually works in good times and in bad.”
As much as starting an entrepreneurial journey seems like a risk, putting your eggs in more than just one basket — your day job — increases the odds of you surviving financial catastrophes. Just like investment portfolio managers, diversification is critical. When you start a side venture, you’re essentially diversifying your streams of income.
The beauty of starting part-time is that you can test whether an idea works before you get past the point of no return. In fact, “People who try business out part-time and then go full time are 33% less likely to fail than people who just jump in straight away because they give themselves the runway to try an experiment.”
Build Your Network
Most novices start focusing on the financial risks involved with launching a company. However, you also have to engage in dialogue with the target market. You want to add value that will pay off in the long-term.
Common places you can connect with people are:
- Facebook Groups (such as The Amazon Reseller’s Community)
Building your network costs little monetary resources yet has next to no downsides. Before the pandemic, Patrick urged people to go out, meet new people, and seek thoughts and ideas. During the pandemic, there are still no excuses for building relationships because you can easily connect online. The virtual world is filled with opportunities. All you have to do is curate your LinkedIn profile and message away.
What Did We Learn from This Episode?
- Just 10% of your time is enough to let you invest in a side venture, allowing you to learn how to become an entrepreneur.
- Real ownership and being a shareholder is key.
- Part-time entrepreneurship is more realistic for most people.
- Most obstacles to entrepreneurship can be solved.
- Be patient. The journey is always most difficult at the start.
- Build your network.
[4:29] — Patrick talks about how he started in entrepreneurship
- Patrick first started his career in Wall Street, following the usual finance and MBA route.
- He left after many team eliminations, with the 2008 financial crisis being the last straw.
- During this time, he transitioned to Silicon Valley because it continued to boom despite the financial crisis.
- He used to be afraid of full-time entrepreneurship because he didn’t have an idea yet, and he was very risk-averse.
- With 10% of your time, you can invest in a side venture and build it into something valuable.
[8:58] — The importance of creating different streams of income
- There are many strategies regarding passive income, but the main point is being a shareholder for as many ventures as possible.
- Side-hustles and freelancing are okay for paying the bills but not for generating wealth.
- Taking ownership and growing your business should be the end goal.
[11:19] — Investing in companies and gaining equity
- Providing labor through having an advisory role can be an excellent method of sweat equity.
- Patrick recalls a time where he did consulting work in exchange for a percentage of the company.
- Seeing the trajectory of your equity’s value raise over time is critical, but don’t forget that the end goal is to monetize your share.
- Ultimately, your stock certificates won’t be able to feed you. Create an exit plan.
[13:23] — How to become an entrepreneur by starting part-time
- Part-time entrepreneurship can be the gateway to full-time entrepreneurship.
- Patrick’s friend was able to simultaneously work at a bank and launch a successful seafood business.
- Entrepreneurs who start part-time are less likely to fail because of the chance to experiment.
[15:22] — The pros and cons of part-time entrepreneurship
- Being a part-time entrepreneur means that you are diversified.
- Full-time entrepreneurship is stressful. You can still develop entrepreneurial skills without going through the traditional pressure.
- Sometimes full-time entrepreneurs already have the luxury of starting capital either from family inheritances or other existing businesses.
- The media often glamorize entrepreneurship, but they don’t show the failures and sad endings behind it.
[19:06] — Obstacles to getting started with entrepreneurship
- Not having money and time can be solved by assessing priorities, budgeting, and allocating what you can, even if it’s small.
- Identify what you’re good at and what you want to do by thinking thoroughly and carefully looking at what you do in your day job, such as Excel and PowerPoint.
- It’s essential to know how to deal with the office policies in your work regarding entrepreneurship.
- Confident business leaders who provide flexibility to their employees can be a retention tool that will make them value their job more.
[22:21] — Patrick’s advice to his younger self on how to become an entrepreneur
- It takes a lot of time and patience. Entrepreneurship is a lifestyle and commitment.
- Finding the first business investment is the hardest part of learning how to become an entrepreneur. It gets less complicated once you get the hang of it.
- Take more calculated risks to make the initial process easier.
[24:34] — Initial concrete steps to start your entrepreneurial journey
- Pre-pandemic, Patrick would advise aspirants to go to as many conferences as possible to network with many people.
- Now, they can simply go online and make connections there.
- LinkedIn is a powerful tool to expand your network, gain knowledge, and get recognized.
- Figure out your topic of expertise and unique selling proposition.
- Ensure that you also overlap the things you love to do, as having a passion will give you the drive to go for it.
Patrick J. McGinnis is an international venture capitalist and the author of Fear of Missing Out: Practical Decision-Making in a World of Overwhelming Choice. Patrick coined the term FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), as well as the related term FOBO (Fear of a Better Option) in a 2004 article in the student newspaper of Harvard Business School. FOMO has since been added to the dictionary and FOBO has become an increasingly popular framework to describe choice paralysis.
Patrick is the host of the hit podcast, FOMO Sapiens, which is distributed by Harvard Business Review, and the author of international bestseller The 10% Entrepreneur: Live Your Startup Dream Without Quitting Your Day Job. He has been featured in The New York Times, Politico, The Financial Times, The Guardian, and Inc, and gave a popular 2019 TED Talk on FOBO and decision-making. Originally from Maine, he has visited 103 countries and now lives in NYC. More at patrickmcginnis.com.